By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alana Langdon and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Randall W. Ramaswamy
PITI, Guam (NNS) -- The submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) was awarded the afloat 2017 Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Excellence Award April 5, 2017, and the 2018 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for large deck combatants, March 22.
Frank Cable's blended crew of Military Sealift Command civilian mariners and U.S. Navy Sailors worked together to minimize power waste, hazardous material stores aboard and invested personal time in cleaning surrounding communities.
"This is the culmination of an entire year of a joint Navy and MSC focus on protecting environmental assets while repairing, rearming and reprovisioning deployed U.S. Naval Forces," said Lt. Kevin D. Lange, Frank Cable's Navy afloat environment protection coordinator and safety officer. "This award is the result of tireless efforts to demonstrate environmental stewardship while executing our hybrid mission."
Lange teamed up with the ship's MSC Chief Engineer Pete Chaggaris and Supply Officer Dave Terrel, lead environment protection coordinator, to facilitate pollution prevention and shipboard energy efficiency, much having been completed during the ship's $49 million Dry-docking Phase Maintenance Availability.
MSC's engineering department replaced more than 3,000 fluorescent bulbs with mercury-free LED lights, which are longer lasting and reduce energy cost by more than 50 percent. Engineering also replaced three air-conditioning and reefer plants, correcting numerous leaks and minimizing refrigerant release.
"Our ship's overall environmental coordinator, Terrel, runs a very efficient and well managed program," said MSC Master Capt. Todd Christian. "I'd also like to give a shout out specifically to our hazardous materials program manager, led by Alicia Garcia. It's her efforts and oversight that makes this operation great."
With Garcia's direction, crew members practiced careful source reduction techniques and close monitoring of hazardous materials, from cradle to grave, to begin saving approximately $250,000 in procurement costs annually.
Sailors organized a comprehensive command trash collection and recycling campaign, with more than 400 participants, including employees of Vigor Industrial during DPMA. This resulted in more than 12,000 aluminum cans being removed from the waste stream. More than 60 off-duty hours were volunteered to collect trash and preserve trails along Portland's Columbia River Gorge and more than 162 hours were invested in preserving and rehabilitating community centers, animal shelters and orphanages on Guam.
"I'm very proud of our team's accomplishment," said Capt. Jeff Farah, Frank Cable's commanding officer. "This truly was a whole-ship, MSC and Navy joint effort. The leaders who took charge of improving systems onboard, getting rid of waste, recycling and coordinating volunteer efforts have done an outstanding job."
Frank Cable, forward deployed to Guam, repairs, rearms and reprovisions deployed U.S. Naval Forces in the Indo-Pacific region.
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